As a freelance writer, I often receive payments in my mailbox after completing a client’s resume or Linkedin profile or finishing the edits of their book. Of course, I’m always grateful for the checks. And sometimes clients will attach a sticky note to the check saying how pleased they were with my work. I love when that happens. I was not expecting what I received in the mailbox today, however, and it had me feeling appreciated for the rest of the day. A repeat client sent in her check. On her envelope she had written my name and then underneath, “The Best Freelance Writer.” The fact that it was written in purple pen was even more uplifting. Then there was the beautiful flowery stamp. Not just your regular American flag. What a gift my client gave me. Probably without even realizing it.
Are you one of those people who linger over the travel section of the newspaper on Sundays? Do you have a long bucket list of destinations to visit? Me too.
Number one on my list is Alaska. I want to do exactly what my friend and her family are doing this summer on their Alaskan cruise: kayak near the glaciers, hike the national parks, cruise the Inside Passage, appreciate the whales and sea lions, photograph bears and bald eagles, and explore Sitka and Juneau. I’m not proud of this, but hearing about their trip is excruciating.
I’m convinced that the whole state of Alaska might just disappear under melting glaciers if I don’t get there soon. But I’m prepared. I’ve researched cruises and tours. I’ve priced airfare. I’ve proposed camping in tents and eating only one meal a day (filling in the rest with energy bars) to reduce expenses. I’ve filled a manila folder with so many ideas, places and potential itineraries that I’ve had to switch to an expandable folder. Alas, even with rustic accommodations and gastronomic sacrifice, neither of which my family is in favor of, it’s too expensive.
I have a debilitating case of Travel Envy which is interfering with my goal of living a life of gratitude.
So instead of lamenting all the wondrous places I will not be touring any time soon, I am “revisiting” the places I’ve already been. After all, great memories are just a click away on my computer. My current background photo is from a family trip to the Grand Canyon in March 2012. My husband and I got up before dawn and left our teenagers to sleep in while we took in the sunrise from the South Rim. It was so peaceful and beautiful and vast that I still shiver with awe just thinking about that morning. I’m grateful that I got to see The Grand Canyon. It used to be number one on my bucket list and now it is checked off.
I guess Alaska will still be there when I’m able to go. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the Grand Canyon sunrise every time I boot up my Mac. And I’ll feel grateful.